Wednesday, May 21, 2008


If memory serves, June was usually the worst month for turbulence on the "vomit comet," an unpressurized, non-air conditioned DC-4 carefully wending its way through (not over) the mountains on its way to Seattle from MSP, testing the mettle of the 50 souls aboard.

Likewise, June 2008 is shaping up to test the mettle of airline passengers everywhere.

  • On the heels of today's record breaking crude oil price of $130/barrel, American Airlines announced it will charge $15 for its passengers FIRST checked bag beginning in mid-June. Watch for other airlines to follow suit. Most are already charging $25-$50 for bag #2.
  • On a scale of 100 points, Northwest scored a dismal customer service rating of 57 in the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index released today. Delta was a cut above with a 60 rating. US airlines collectively scored 62, their lowest rating in seven years. Southwest Airlines ranked #1 with 79.
  • Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport ranked dead last among 60 U.S. airports in customer satisfaction according to a survey released yesterday by J.D. Powers and Associates. Flight delays and long baggage waits were major factors. Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami and Philadelphia consistently scored at the top of the list.

Other than recommending you fly Southwest Airlines exclusively and limit your destinations to the four airports listed above, I don't know what else to tell you. Sadly, the days when exceptional customer service was the stated goal of every airline and airports the world over seems but a misty memory - now supplanted by their raw need for survival. This is depressing. Lady Skywriter plans to take refuge once again in recalling the golden age of commercial flight. Vomit comets and all!


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